I’m over the moon to welcome fellow Bookouture author Carol Wyer to the blog with her new book Life Swap, released today! Carol has a wonderful, warm and quirky sense of humour. I love her blog Facing 50 With Humour, so I can’t wait to read Life Swap, which landed on my Kindle this morning.
I had plenty of questions for Carol, but first, the fabulous cover and the blurb:
She wanted a new life and true love. But the grass isn’t always greener on the other side…
All Polly has to her name is a string of failed relationships and a mountain of debt. She sees herself as a hopeless case and would do anything to change her luck.
So when she’s given the opportunity to swap all she’s ever known for a life of luxury, Polly jumps at the chance. Soon, it’s all diamonds, spa days and celebrity parties. Now all that’s missing from her life is a bit of romance. Will hunky Matt be the man to heal her broken heart?
But money can’t always buy you happiness. Can the life she’s always dreamed of get in the way of true love?
A witty, heart warming read, perfect for fans of Debbie Johnson and Carole Matthews.
And now to find out more about Carol and her book . . .
What was the initial kernel of an idea that got you started writing Life Swap?
It all started while filming for a game show at a country house in Essex. They were filming three episodes the same day so there was a huge amount of sitting about in the restaurant and chatting to people while others were doing their pieces to camera.
Someone picked up a magazine to browse through and commented on a celebrity. I was only half listening to the conversation until someone commented she’d love to swap places with Kim Kardashian. This was followed by a lively discussion about which celeb or person we would love to swap lives with.
I decided I would like to swap lives with businesswoman, interior designer and dealer Celia Sawyer. I take my hat off to her. She left school with barely any qualifications and is now one of the top influential businesswomen in the UK. She’s delightfully charming and down-to-earth, looks utterly glamorous, flies in a private jet and wears the sexiest Louboutin boots I have ever seen. I wouldn’t mind a few hours in those and enjoying her life. I’m not convinced she would want to swap with me though. A life on a windy hillside with Mr Grumpy? Possibly not the most attractive proposition.
Ha! I can’t even begin to imagine who I would want to swap lives with for a while!
Did you have to do much research? Sampling the life of luxury Polly hankers after? Spa days and celebrity parties? 😉
I always do a huge amount of research for all my books and practice what I preach hence in the past I have dived with sharks, gone zorbing and eaten locusts. This book didn’t afford any crazy challenges other than standing on a wall and not moving for two hours while I tested out being a living statue. Polly doesn’t enjoy standing in for her friend as a statue either and I can completely sympathise with her. It was hot and no one even looks at you.
As for the luxurious lifestyle Polly wants, I was a member of a spa hotel/gym for a few years so I already know about massages, loafing about in dressing gowns and hanging around swimming pools with a glass of bubbly – well, maybe not the last part. Because I was a personal trainer at the time, it was important to keep fit and up to speed with all the latest class routines and so on. The spa was only two miles up the road so it made sense to use their facilities. I used to train every day at the gym there and took every high impact class possible until my body decided it was too old for all that.
I took up clay pigeon shooting but like Polly I have astigmatism. Unlike Polly I didn’t have a hunky instructor and I was useless at it. I missed almost every target even with the instructor trying to guide me. I went every week for two months but I didn’t improve. I hope I’m never in a situation where I actually need to shoot something.
In the golden days, I hung out at celeb shindigs and quaffed my fair share of Louis Roederer Cristal Champagne. Sadly, I can’t divulge too much about that time without ruffling a few feathers so it’s best I say nothing.
Crikey, you do lead an exciting life! Makes mine look incredibly boring!
Which aspects of Polly’s and Matt’s personalities did you enjoy writing most?
I loved writing the humorous dialogue between Polly and Matt. Couples who are obviously made for each other have a special type of banter and I allowed that to flow in the scenes between them.
That sounds lovely. As a reader, I’m really keen on fun and realistic dialogue, and that’s something I strive for as a writer.
You are obviously drawn to writing humour. Could you tell us a little about how and why?
It’s a very long story but the abridged version is a lonely army child who wears ridiculous glasses, long plaited pigtails and who speaks in a plummy accent that would make Miranda Hart sound common, struggles to make friends as she goes from school to school. Just when she thinks she’s reached the bottom, she manages to smash her front teeth out and has to wear false teeth—tough going for a child about to hit puberty. Anyway, her mum and grandfather take her to see Ken Dodd who has sticky out hair, sticky out teeth and who makes the lonely girl honk with laughter throughout the show. At the end of the show he sings a song called “Happiness”. In the mind of the child, the words “happiness” and “laughter” get fused and she decides the only way to stop being picked on or laughed at is to laugh first. So she does. She laughs at herself, acts the fool, doesn’t let anyone bug her and hey presto, a humorous writer and comedian is born. Yes, that lonely child was me and I still remember Ken Dodd’s first joke that mad me snort with laughter.
That’s a wonderful story, Carol. I’m glad you found your sense of humour in and amonsgt those childhood tribulations. 🙂
Tell me, have you started your next book yet, and if so, can you tell us a little about it?
I’ve recently completed edits on the next book that is deeper than Life Swap and is full of surprises and twists. There’s still humour but there is far more intrigue and a love interest of course. In it Bryony, a teacher, is trying to find her sister who left home without explanation before her father dies. The book is all about love, friendship and guilty secrets.
Sounds wonderful. So where do you do your writing?
I type up all my work in my office, a small room with nothing but a desk, printer, cupboard and a skylight. The lack of window prevents me from getting distracted by the views outside. I actually do all the creative stuff in France in a tiny, quaint pigeonnier that is part of a small working farm. Nothing gets the creative juices racing as sitting under a large tree on a warm morning, listening to sheep bleating or cicadas chirping.
I lived in France for ten years but these days we rent gites and come and go as we please for about six weeks of the year. The gite is very small but utterly charming and perfect for inspiration and if inspiration doesn’t come, a trip to the supermarket for a bottle of red wine is a great substitute for writing.
Gosh, I like the sound of that. We never seem to get away anywhere nowadays. Must speak to hubby . . .
Finally, can you tell us something weird and wonderful about yourself?
I was once a magician’s assistant. I had to stand in as his usual assistant was ill and they needed someone who could speak French and translate his instructions to the audience. It was going okay until I got tangled up in his magic hoops and they somehow attached themselves to my large earrings. He got flustered and waved his hands about and we ended up even more tangled. I think he wanted me to stop jigging about but I didn’t. We went down very well as a comedy act in the end. As it happened a television producer had been watching the act and invited us to perform on television the following day. I turned that opportunity down. Some days I wonder what would have happened if I had only said ‘yes.”
Oh my goodness! I bet that’s the most unusual “weird and wonderful” I’ll get on this blog! Thank you so much for visiting, Carol – it’s been lovely getting to know you better 🙂
Here’s what others have been saying about Life Swap:
‘Life Swap is such great fun and hugely entertaining with an amazing twist at the end that I didn’t see coming at all.’ The Book Magnet
‘Witty, funny and a great pick me up!’ Mum Reinvented Blog
‘I’m no stranger to this author’s work. She is always very funny, witty and writes a cracking story. Her books come with a guarantee: that they will amuse, entertain, delight and have you raring for more’ Cath ‘n’ Kindle Book reviews
‘This made me laugh out loud …lots of tender and emotional times too.’ StefLoz Book Reviews.
And you can find Carol Wyer at:
Carol is a member of Romantic Novelists Association
And you can see her BBC interview here! http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p01m709f